In the summer of 1973, generosity from someone who chose to make a difference put me to work for the Town of Wakefield, MA, scraping and painting snow plows snow plow yellow. Minimum wage was $1.60 an hour, but multiplied (manually, since Kronos wasn’t invented yet) by about 30, tucked over $40 bucks in my pocket each week. That opportunity allowed me to do the fun things that make summer summer, plus I wasn’t idling for trouble, and I learned the value of work. My mom made me save much of that value, but I kept some cash I earned, and the genesis of a work ethic. Having a role model like my single-mom didn’t hurt, either. She worked full time, and put herself through nursing school, graduating with a bachelor’s the year I graduated high school.
Mom grew up in Lowell, MA, a working class melting pot that’s working its way back from the loss of textiles and other manufacturing from their heyday. Lowell borders our Kronos Chelmsford headquarters, and is a very happening place right now. It’s UMass-Lowell Riverhawks are first time entrants to the “Frozen Four,” college hockey’s national championship! There are a lot of kids in a city of 100,000, and summer is coming. How many of those kids will be idle, without vocational opportunities, or any chance for a positive summer experience? Well, if (Play)Joyce from Bard Electrophysiology, Barb Vlacich from Kronos, and Alison Kalman from the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank get their way (and I can assure you, two of them do regularly), not many. The trio are this year’s Co-Chair’s of SEGL, the United Way’s charity for Summer Experiences in Greater Lowell.
SEGL will have their annual Martini Spring Fling again this year on Thursday, June 13th at the beautiful Vesper Country Club Tyngsboro, MA, but that’s over two months away! You can get involved now! If you’d like to participate in this great cause, including sponsorship opportunities and silent auction items to promote your business, please contact Usha Chatterjee of the United Way at 857-233-3256.
Remember, just one summer can make a difference in a child’s life, and it did for me. Just think, with your help this summer, in 40 years, some kid from Lowell may use Apple’s iTelepathy to project a story via 3D image from memory about how SEGL helped her.